LG 50PM670T review
|Review: December 2012|
In a nutshell: Of all LG's plasma range, this 50 inch model seems to offer the best trade off in terms of price vs features, although it won't completely satisfy film buffs when it comes to picture quality.
Design & looks
Plasma TVs may not have quite the finesse of their superslim LED cousins when it comes to looks, but LG's PM670T range must surely be up there with the best. The 670 range actually looks better than LG's more expensive plasmas, with its slim bezel, relatively thin dimensions and stylish metallic stand.
And in any case, 50 inches of flatscreen makes such a big impression that who's to argue with the details of the styling? It certainly beats Panasonic's ugly plasma range without a doubt.
Regular readers of S21 will know that we're big fans of plasma screens. It isn't hard to understand why - what other technology could deliver 50 inches of flatscreen at a RRP of just £749.99? But it isn't just that plasmas are relatively cheap. They deliver the goods when it comes to picture quality too.
Having said that, the 50PM670T retails for quite a lot less than LG's most expensive 50 inch plasma, and some of the cost savings have been made in picture quality.
The first thing we noticed is that this plasma panel doesn't deliver the deep blacks that we'd hoped for. While a native contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1 is perfectly respectable, it's noticeably less than LG's high-end plasma range and a lot less than Panasonic's plasmas. This isn't helped by the fact that the screen is quite dim. We'd certainly recommend that you watch this with the lights turned down for best effect, and in these conditions the lack of screen brightness won't be a problem.
This is a fast panel, rated at 600Hz, so there's no problem with motion blurring, even during fast sporting action. Nor is there any problem with colour fidelity, as this has been THX certified and calibrated to ensure that the settings are just right.
As with any plasma, viewing angles are extremely wide, and you can sit literally anywhere in the room without noticing any variation in colour or contrast, unlike with most LED TVs.
One thing that we noted is that image retention is absolutely minimal on this screen, so you really don't have anything to worry about in that department.
To finish on another positive, the energy efficiency of the TV is rated as "B" which is very good by plasma standards, although not as good as LED TVs.
To summarise, this screen delivers excellent 2D picture quality, and is probably better than any LED TV at this price point, although it's not as bright. Nor is it the best plasma screen we've encountered.
Unlike LG's LED TVs which use passive 3D, this TV uses active shutter 3D glasses, although no glasses are included in the sales package.
Active 3D glasses claim the benefit of reproducing full HD 1080p resolution images, but there is a price to pay for this. Several prices. First of all the glasses are heavier and more expensive to buy. Secondly they are susceptible to crosstalk, where the left eye perceives the ghost of an image intended for the right eye, and vice versa. This can lead to a ghosting effect. We have to say that some crosstalk was visible with this TV, especially in high contrast scenes. You might also notice some small amount of flickering from the active shutter glasses, depending on how you light your room.
We've yet to experience truly awesome sound from a flatscreen TV, and the LG 50PM670T is no exception. After all, with just two small stereo speakers, you can't raise your expectations too high. The Virtual Surround option does appear to boost bass and mid-range frequencies, but whether this will be to your taste depends on what kinds of programmes you enjoy watching. The Clear Voice 2 feature helps to improve voice clarity, put the real problem is the lack of punchiness in the bass. For this, there's only one solution - to purchase a soundbar or a 5.1 home cinema system to complement your new TV.
Smart TV is one of the key selling points of this TV, and is a real strength. The Home Dashboard is simple and easy to navigate. From here you can access content from the BBC iPlayer and youtube, download movies from Netflix and LoveFilm, and catch up with social media at facebook and twitter.
Another cost saving becomes apparent when you look at the connectivity options available. There's no built-in Wi-Fi! Horrors! However, there is an ethernet cable connection and you can buy a Wi-Fi USB dongle to enable Wi-Fi. If you do this you can then talk wirelessly with your smartphone or tablet, and stream content from a laptop or PC.
When it comes to old-fashioned wires and cables, we're pleased to find there's been no penny pinching. A full complement of 4 HDMI connections is included, plus 2 USB ports. You'll also find a combined composite / AV connection, SCART, analogue and digital audio connections, a headphone jack and a CI slot.
A Freeview HD tuner is included, but not Freesat.
Conclusion - the affordable 50 inch TV
This is a very affordable TV, and it's not surprising that it's currently LG's best-selling plasma television. Look at what you get: a 50 inch screen with an attractive design; 3D; really good Smart TV functionality; and good connectivity, with a Wi-Fi upgrade option.
What's missing? Well, there's the Wi-Fi of course, but you can always upgrade to that later. There's no Freesat, but you can add a box if you need that feature. More importantly, there are compromises in the picture quality - both in 2D and 3D. The more expensive LG 50PM970T improves the 2D performance, but for truly outstanding picture quality in 2D and 3D you'll need to look at Panasonic's range of plasma TVs, and they cost quite a bit more.
LG 50PM670T features include:
- 50 inch plasma screen
- 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Triple XD Engine
- 600Hz Sub Field Driving
- 3D Ready (active 3D)
- Game Mode
- Freeview HD
- Smart TV
- Audio: Dolby Digital, Virtual Surround, Clear Voice 2, 10W x 2 sound output (RMS)
- Connectivity: Ethernet (LAN) x 1, DLNA, HDMI x 4, USB x 2, headphone x 1, component in (Y/Pb/Pr) / composite x 1, digital audio out (optical) x 1, Audio In x 2, PC in x 1, Scart x 1, RF In (Terrestrial / Cable input) x 1, CI slot
- Energy efficiency class: B
- Typical power consumption: 130W
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 1168 x 704 x 53 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 1168 x 758 x 297 mm
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LG 50PM670T user reviews
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Average rating from 2 reviews:
Reviewed by rory
on 23rd Jun 2015
Has broke after 2 years .was well looked after as well .sound is terrible and very reflective screen !
Reviewed by vish
from U. k
on 8th Nov 2014
After having it for a year and just as Warrenty finished I statred to get problem. The tv is keep going off and turning on by it seldom unless I manually turn it off. so the tv is just waste now.